Dance Education for All!
Welcome to Luna’s Advocacy page!
Despite tremendous public support for arts education, as demonstrated by repeated voter passing of bond measures to bring arts into local public schools, and despite state adoption of the thoughtful and comprehensive California Visual and Performing Arts standards, the 2007 study by SRI International revealed alarming statistics about the failure of California to provide adequate arts education to its children.
- 90% of California Schools K-5, 96% of California Middle Schools and 72% of high schools fail to offer a standards-based course of study in all four disciplines
- Students attending high-poverty schools have less access to arts instruction than those in more affluent communities
- Arts facilities are lacking in most schools
- At the elementary level: arts instruction is often left to regular classroom teachers who rarely have adequate training, inadequate elementary education provides a weak foundation for upper level arts courses, California students typically have a less substantial experience than their peers across the country
- Dance is the least represented art form on all measures
The SRI study named inadequate state funding as the number one barrier to meeting California’s arts education goals (followed by pressure to increase test stores and lack of instructional time and expertise at the elementary level). The public has made known their support for arts education, yet policymakers do not heed the word. All progress made building cultures for dance in California remain in jeopardy as the legislature stalls passage of a budget and refuses to raise new revenue for children, schools or arts.
If you are a California voter, tell your state representatives what you care about. You may also want to join California Alliance for Arts Education to stay apprised of latest action on behalf of arts education in our state.
Our new advocacy page will keep you apprised of campaigns in which you can engage; meanwhile, know that advocacy begins at home. Tell people about your work, about the importance of arts to keeping students engaged in school, or about dance bringing together body, mind & spirit in action. Keep doing your good work AND start talking about it. People often base decisions on emotion—share what works: help them make decisions based on hope rather than fear.
SRI International (2007) An Unfinished Canvas. Arts Education in California: Taking Stock of Policy and Practice, Menlo Park, CA